While most of us who have access to social media might not resonate with the experience of the Vietnam War, most people in the 1960s did. The war lasted a decade, and people were tired of it. With rising anti-war sentiment in the late 1960s, Jerome Grossman, Sam Brown, and David Hawk orchestrated the Vietnam Moratorium Day protest.
This event was one of the largest multinational protests in world history. Many nations had interests in the Vietnam War, and this public outcry was the world's way of saying it was enough. The protest was a last resort and threat by activists who threatened to call for a general strike if the war was not concluded by October 1969.
- Two million Americans are said to have participated in the protest.
- There were two marches during the Vietnam Moratorium Day protest. The first was unsuccessful. However, days later, a second march was organized.
- The success of the second Moratorium was due to the My Lai Massacre, in which hundreds of unarmed civilians were brutally killed. Victims included infants, children, women, and elderly citizens. Even more heinous, many were mutilated and/or raped. Although the massacre happened in 1968, it was only revealed in 1969 by Journalist Seymour Hersh.
- During the second Moratorium, the police threw tear gas at protesters, which led to some degree of violence. Churches, campuses, high schools, and Museums are among the few places that opened their doors to protesters.
- The Vietnam Moratorium Day in New York collided with the Baseball 1969 World Series. Game four was played that day. At the time, New York's mayor John Lindsay wanted the flag at the Baseball game to be flown halfway but was opposed by the Baseball commissioner.
- President Nixon did not say a word during the Vietnam Moratorium Day protests; he continued working from the White House.
- Sam Brown, arguably the mastermind behind the Vietnam Moratorium Day movement, was only 25 years old.
- Despite being a nationwide protest filled with passion, the entire ordeal was peaceful; everyone shared in expressing the sadness caused by the war.
We all did what we could– just to be DONE and get OUT